U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Water Flea Genome Sequenced: Sentinel of Environmental Change
Published: February 07, 2011
Posted: March 17, 2011

The water flea Daphnia pulex is a keystone species of freshwater ecosystems, a principal grazer of algae, a primary food source for fish, a sentinel of still water inland ecosystems, and a sentinel species used to assess the ecological impact of environmental change. The genome of this species has just been sequenced by DOE’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). They find that the Daphnia genome is only 200 megabases in size, but contains at least 30,000 genes, which is thought to be about 25% more than in the human genome. More than a third of Daphnia’s genes have no detectable homologs in any other available proteome, and the largest gene families are specific to the Daphnia lineage. These Daphnia-specific genes, including many additional sequenced genes that have not been assigned any functions, are the most responsive genes to ecological challenges. These results will enable better understanding of real-world environmental changes through knowledge of how a genome responds to gene-environment interactions. The study is published in the February 4, 2011, issue of Science magazine.

Reference: Colbourne, J. K., et al. 2011. “The Ecoresponsive Genome of Daphnia pulex,” Science 331, 555–61.

Contact: Dan Drell, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4742
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)